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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The dominant Marxist philosophical discourse drew its strength from the fact that it took up the humanist tradition and turned it into a critique of capitalist society and a universal social project. A more restrained use of Marxism has also been made, oriented above all towards the analysis of the economic-social-political frameworks of capitalist societies. This is, in fact, where its fruitfulness seems to be most clearly displayed: examination of a social formation starting from the question of the ownership of its means of production (and, more generally, from the categories of historical materialism) incontestably yields decisive information. The theory of the capitalist mode of production indeed gains its coherence and its unity only from the principle on which it is founded: a definite conception of value, the starting category of the system, about which debate has never ceased, without ever reaching a decisive result or even making appreciable progress.

Keywords: capitalist mode; humanist tradition; Marxism; universal social project

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